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So, now Chase would like to take advantage of my wife?

Chase balance transfer offer to wife of Dr Robert Lahm

Isn’t it interesting, having friends on the Internet who tell me about the letters, offers, customer service arguments, and other “fun” that they have, going “round and round” with Chase.  It’s also always been rather dumbfounding, since being married, seeing how credit card companies treat me, or my wife differently.  After two decades, two premature babies, one doctoral degree, and more than our share of consignment shops, chicken leg quarters (again), scrimping, and saving to make sure that no matter what, we always paid our bills on time (all of them), doesn’t Chase have sense enough to know that we might talk about money with one another?  My astonishment goes beyond my own household in the instance of Chase: thousands of people are sharing information about its antics (site visitors and on the Internet at large).  We know about disparate treatment and redlining in the credit card industry, too.

I think it should be pretty obvious to anyone who lingers on this site for just a few clicks that I do not care for the way Chase has treated my wife in the past (we closed two of her accounts ourselves after a supervisor said that Chase did not really care about keeping our business — and no, my wife had not done anything wrong — just the same old story, account changes for no good reason).  I think the site says that I certainly do not like the way Chase is treating me presently, either.

And, not to forget you, dear readers, I am on your side as well.  If you are a small business person, as an entrepreneurship professor (working at my day job), I care about you.  In fact, this fight is actually necessary for the whole economy, because I know that even in the best of times, it’s hard to get capital, and credit cards have been used by millions of fledgling entrepreneurs (not saying that’s a great idea, but I know the situation “is what it is” — long story, read my research papers before you comment, please).  For everyone else, if you are the type of person who has tried to lead a good life, acting responsibly and in good faith, then I love you, too.

I would observe that those of us ordinary citizens who are acting responsibly are evidently at odds with the credit card industry’s business model, given that it seems to be a “one trick pony,” and a very ornery one at that: get a “customer in the saddle,” run him or her through thorny bushes, knock ’em off with a low hanging branch, and then “kick ’em while they’re down.”

If you had a chance to watch any of the House Financial Services Committee hearings today, you may have noticed that there was an expressed lack of interest in lowering credit card rates in response to a question about whether or not leading banking executives (all of whom have received T.A.R.P bail out money) would be willing to cut customers a little slack during this time of economic hardship.  Of course, I was listening rather intently for Jamie Dimon’s response (Dimon is CEO of JP Morgan Chase).  Smooth talker, wrong answer (no mercy).  Thus, the image above (linked to a pdf of the front and back side of the offer that was sent to my wife) also demonstrates, to me, that the model is the same: bait the customer, hook the customer, and screw the customer.  I also noticed the “limited duration” part in the current offer.  With Chase, that doesn’t really matter though, since it has already proven that its “fixed APR Until the balance is paid in full” promotional offers are for a limited duration as well.

Have no fear for me or my wife regarding this latest offer (to take advantage of her — us), I don’t think you’ll have to worry about whether or not we would ever “fall for” one of Chase’s tricks again.

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